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How to make an adjustable sling 
(with rings, rails and padding.)


See Jen Rose's famous site for making a tube sling and an unpadded sling from a bedsheet.

Copyright note:  These are not store-bought instructions, nor are they taken from any store-bought patterns.   No permission will be granted to sell these instructions, but anyone may use and distribute for free as necessary.  I am giving the instructions free so that moms and dads can bond with their babies.  I developed these instructions by taking my sling apart and using it as a pattern, but I modified the way the pad is made and attached to use less fabric and make assembly easier.

Liability note:  I offer no guarantees for these instructions.  They worked for me in carrying my baby, but I will not be held responsible for improper construction or use of your sling.  Please read the wearing instructions and use common sense in carrying your baby.

Questions? Feel free to email me at


You will need:

*available at Wal-Mart and at JoAnn's Fabrics.  I've found a few steel rings that popped open when pulled hard--make sure you get ones that are welded well.



  1. Wash and dry your fabric.
  2. Lay your fabric out good side down.  Fold one end up 1/4" and stitch.  Fold stitched end in again to cover raw edge, stitch again.  This is your "tail".
  3. If your fabric doesn't have finished edges, fold edges in 1/4" and stitch.  (don't need to cover raw edge as it will be folded under in next step.) 
  4. Cut one piece of batting one foot by four foot, and fold in thirds lengthwise (or stack three 4" x 4 ft pieces if you're working with scrap batting).  Place on long edge of fabric, two feet up from "tail". 
  5. Fold edge of fabric and batting over, all the way up the length of the fabric, to make one "padded rail".  Pin in place (or if you're lazy like me, use masking tape instead), making sure that fold is straight across the whole way.  You may need to squoosh the batting into place. Sew up the length of the fabric, 1/4" in from the edge. 
  6. Sew, starting from the INSIDE of the sling and sewing out*, across padded rail 1/2" to 2" from each end, and again 12 to 14" from each end, to keep batting from shifting.  (*this will keep it from bunching up funny, since there's no outside seam.)
  7. Repeat steps 4 thru 6 on the other long side of the fabric, for the other padded rail. 
  8. Cut three 6" x 8" pieces of batting, or one piece (8 x 18" or 6 x 24") folded up to 6" x 8". 
  9. Place batting lengthwise on sling, 1/4" to 1/2" from the top (unfinished edge). Fold outside edges of sling towards the middle so that the tops of the outside edges are touching the batting.  Fold outside edges again - this time the outside edges should touch each other, overlapping slightly and completely cover the batting.  Pin or tape in place.  Sew over the overlap (straight down the middle of the sling and the batting, sewing the two edges together and covering the batting.)  This is your shoulder pad.
  10. Fold top edge over 1/4" to 1/2".  Pin or tape in place.  Fold top corners down 1/2" to 1", pin or tape. Sew top edge, rounding corners.  You'll have an ugly "fringe" of four layers of raw fabric hanging out, but that's OK.  It'll get sewn to the inside of the sling later.
  11. Slide the shoulder pad through both rings, pushing the rings down to where the padded rails start.
  12. Fold shoulder pad and whole top end of sling down over rings so that the insides meet.  The shoulder pad should lay directly in the middle of the sling side to side, in between the two padded rails.  The top of the shoulder pad should be about level (give or take an inch) with the ends of the padded rails.  The fabric underneath the shoulder pad will want to bunch, you'll have to spread it out to make sure it's straight and there's no wrinkles.  Pin or tape the shoulder pad in place.
  13. Sew down the middle of the shoulder pad again, following your original line, to attach the pad to the back of the sling.  Sew parallel lines 1 1/2" from either side of this line, which will divide the pad into four fat rows.  Sew across the end of the rows, on top of or right next to the end seam you made in step 10.
  14. You're done!! Thread up the tail end, grab a baby or small child, and try it out
  15. OK, now clip the loose threads and wash and dry the sling before you go out in public with it or package it up to give away.  :)

Care of your sling:

Wash gentle cycle, low heat; air or fluff dry, no bleach.  If you used dark or bright fabric, wash separately first few times as fabric may bleed.  Excessive heat may shrink your sling.


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